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'Pray in sorrow': Search for 4 missing California sailors called off

Three sailors were hoisted to safety after they were swept off their yacht by a super wave during a race. One person was killed and four others remain missing. Msnbc.com's Dara Brown reports.

Rescuers halted the search for four sailors missing after they were swept overboard from their yacht by powerful waves off the coast of San Francisco, raising the likely death toll from the accident to five.

"An air and sea search was suspended indefinitely around sundown and we will not go back tomorrow," U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Caleb Critchfield told Reuters late Sunday.

 


"We kept searching 12 hours past what we consider the survivability window. We extend our deepest sympathy and our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victims," he added.

 

The 38-foot yacht, called Low Speed Chase, was competing in a race Saturday around South Farallon Island with 48 other yachts.

Officials said a large wave swept four sailors into the water, and when the yacht tried to turn to go back for them, another wave hit the boat, pushing it onto rocks.

Shortly after the accident, three people were rescued and the body of Marc Kasanin, 46, of Belvedere, California, was found.

San Francisco Yacht Club, where the Low Speed Chase was based, said the missing sailors were Alexis Busch of Larkspur; Alan Cahill of Tiburon; Jordan Fromm, 25, of Kentville; and an additional crew member whose identity was being withheld because his family had yet to be notified.

One dead, four missing after California yacht race

A Facebook page, called In Memory of Low Speed Chase, was set up, and it posted the words to the hymn "Eternal Father, Strong to save," also known as "For Those in Peril on the Sea" or the "Navy Hymn."

"My goodness - my heart is broken by this loss of Alan and Marc. I pray and have hope - but not much," one person wrote on the page.

"Pray in sorrow for the five poor souls lost in this tragedy... pray in thanks for the fortunate three still with us," another said.

The Associated Press reported that the entire crew was believed to have been wearing life vests and foul weather gear, and that had made rescuers optimistic they might find survivors.

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